In 1991, the Cold War ended, a U.N. coalition fought the Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm), Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested in Milwaukee, Rodney King was beaten, the 911 system was being tested, Centel was advertising a revolutionary idea called a cell phone the size of a brick, a gallon of gasoline cost $1.12, I returned to graduate school and my first son was born. I wonder what I prayed about then? I wonder how the Father responded?
Twenty-two years later, 1991 seems like a blip on the radar. There was so much going on at the moment that I believed would be unforgettable. Now, I struggle to remember. The importance of yesterday is overshadowed by the urgency of today. Of the perpetual prayers and special spiritual moments, what do I remember now? What was profound enough that even today I am shaped by its memory? Can I remember?
Those are the questions that come to me when I think of Joseph. From the time he was given a promise by God to the time it was fulfilled, twenty-two years passed. Twenty-two amazing years of abandonment, slavery, false accusations, and prison followed by rising to the office of Prime Minister. Through tragedy and triumph he could trace the fulfillment of those words spoken two decades earlier.
It makes me question how much attention am I paying to life? To God? What promise spoken to me twenty-two years ago still shapes my worldview? What words or prayers lifted up twenty-two years ago influence how I live today? What from today will shape my world in 2026? Am I paying close attention in the moment or just hurrying through life believing the American lie that he who runs through life at the fastest pace wins?
Perhaps the prayer that should shape my life is, "Lord, help me pay more attention to the important and less to the urgent." Something will shape my life in 2026; why not let it be a relationship with the Father from today?